Monday, September 22, 2008

Mal Aware

I may be a Linux novice, but I'm a Microsoft Systems Engineer who knows his way around Windows pretty thoroughly, and I'm always happy to help friends and acquaintances out with PC problems.

This weekend I was removing Antivirus XP 2008 using Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware for someone who had clicked unwisely in an email message.

The good people at tell us that:
Antivirus XP 2008 is a new rogue anti-spyware program that is advertised through Trojans and other malware. It is advertised in the form of fake security alerts and warnings on web sites that state you are infected with malware or are being attacked in some manner. When you click on these ads, it will automatically download the installer for Antivirus XP 2008 and install it on your machine. In some cases, this program is installed without any intervention at all from you.

Once installed, AntivirusXP 2008 will scan your computer and display a variety of security risks found on your computer that can only be removed if you purchase a license of the software. These risks, though, are all fake and are only being displayed to scare you into thinking you are infected and thus purchase their software. Another tactic that AntivirusXP 2008, and the accompanied malware, uses is to change your desktop background to be a message stating you are infected, popups and fake alerts stating your computer is being attacked, and a fake Internet Explorer page that states Google has found your computer to be infected.
Whoever us behind AntivirusXP 2008 is a monumental scumbag. People should go to prison for this sort of thing. It causes real distress to folk who aren't IT specialists.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is available as a free download and its what I used to kill AntivirusXP in this case. It hoses the infection away completely then politely and discreetly asks you to consider purchasing the professional version. This is model citizenship on the internet. I respect and praise the people behind it as much as I hate and despise the people who write malware in the first place, so I'm throwing this post out as an expression of goodwill to them,

1 comment:

Nick Browne said...

Microsoft and Washington State's Attorney General agree.